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Re: [AUCTeX-devel] Contributing to AUCTeX

From: Mosè Giordano
Subject: Re: [AUCTeX-devel] Contributing to AUCTeX
Date: Sat, 7 Nov 2015 21:21:58 +0100

Hi Marcin,

2015-11-07 20:14 GMT+01:00 Marcin Borkowski <address@hidden>:
> OK,
> so after some time dedicated to thinking I signed the FSF papers and
> sent them (of course, it will take some time for the letter to get
> across the pond, and FSF will probably need at least a few days to
> register it).

Good to hear you'll join us :-)  Just out of curiosity, you signed the
papers for AUCTeX or Emacs?  In the former case you can contribute
only to AUCTeX, in the latter you may also contribute to RefTeX (which
is bundled into Emacs), Emacs itself and all packages distributed via

> So, my question now is: what do I do in order to start contributing to
> AUCTeX?  Currently, I put my code in this GitHub repository:
> , but of course this doesn't have
> to be so.

I checked it out briefly.  A couple of comments.  First, I saw you
require cl-lib, but try and avoid loading it at runtime, instead it's
ok to use cl macros that would be compiled.  Second, I saw some
LaTeX3-related code, I'm looking forward to seeing its support in
AUCTeX improved!

> Of course, there are questions of quality, reviews, tests etc.  What are
> the practices for AUCTeX?

Clone AUCTeX git repo

    $ git clone git://

start hacking, when a feature is ready write the ChangeLog entry: for
every function/variable/etc changed move the point in Emacs inside
their definitions and issue C-x 4 a, which will prepare for you a
ChangeLog entry to be filled with the description of the change.
Then, when also the ChangeLog is ready you can commit the change.  For
the commit message follow these rules:

* first line should be a short summary of the change, possibly shorter
than 50 characters or so
* the body of the message are simply the ChangeLog entries you wrote.

Take a look at past commit messages
(  Please, before
committing your change, make sure you're working on the most recent
version.  AUCTeX has a relatively low traffic development, so it won't
be difficult to keep the repo updated.  This will avoid us to fix
merge conflicts (above all in ChangeLog[1]).   Now you can create a
patch with `format-patch', for example

    $ git format-patch -1

(see `man git-format-patch' for more information about its syntax).
Then attach the patch to a mail for address@hidden, someone will
review your patch and hopefully apply it ;-)

> I hope that my code isn't bad enough to be
> rejected (though admiteddly its far from being ideal, and probably will
> never be, since (1) I'm not (yet?) a bearded Elisp wizard, and (2) when
> dealing with LaTeX I have to make some assumptions e.g. about the user
> not changing catcodes like crazy).

Well, the assumption about not changing catcodes is necessary for
AUCTeX to work.  And also most of conditionals are a serious problem
(we can deal with conditionals that check the compiler used, but I
can't think of many other situations), so assuming there are no
conditional is often fine.

> Also, while I don't have too much time now (my teaching schedule this
> semester is totally insane), I manage to carve out a few hours of Elisp
> coding each week, so while I might not answer all emails within 24
> hours, I /will/ answer them eventually.

Don't worry.


[1] BTW, how about dropping it and auto-generating it like Emacs?

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